Roof rats combine the unsavory traits of a rat with the climbing abilities of a squirrel. They can easily reach treetops, utility lines and other high places. When these rodents seek shelter, they often invade attics and build nests. Look for the following signs if you need to identify a possible infestation:

1. Excrement

When you find long, pointy droppings in the attic or closets, roof rats may be present. This rodent's feces are much bigger than mouse excrement but significantly shorter than a Norway rat's droppings. Feces can transmit viruses and bacteria.

2. Detritus

You may notice debris and small pieces of fur in rooms that roof rats have invaded. They might also create greasy streaks as they scamper along the baseboards. You'll probably detect an odor if rats infest a poorly ventilated room; some people describe it as musky.

3. Bygone Fruit

Look under any fruit trees in the area around your home. If you encounter the remnants of apples or peaches that a wild animal has consumed, this type of rodent might live nearby. Roof rats will devour many different foods, but they particularly enjoy eating fruit and nuts.

4. Hidden Nests

You might discover a nest in your attic or a closet on the top floor. This pest could take up residence inside of old furniture, a cardboard box or another dark, well-concealed cavity. Rodents will probably reproduce in your home if they nest in it.

5. Excited Pets

Animals usually detect roof rats before humans notice them. Most cats behave differently after encountering the smell of a rat. Some dogs also try to hunt and kill rodents. A canine might bark at a hidden rat that you can't easily see.

6. Gnawing

Rodents must chew on hard objects to prevent their teeth from growing too long. If they infiltrate your house, you may find small bite marks on boards, wires and even pipes. These creatures cause extensive damage, and they occasionally trigger explosions by chewing on natural gas lines.

7. Odd Noises

If unusual sounds emanate from the ceiling, roof rats may have infested your house. You might hear scratching, gnawing, scurrying or squeaking noises. However, it's hard to identify this pest by its sound; mice and Norway rats create similar noises.

8. Visual

If you manage to spot a roof rat, you may see it crawl across a beam, tree branch or fence. This rodent's body measures a maximum of 8 inches long. Unlike a squirrel, it has a hairless tail that exceeds the length of its body.

Proven Pest Management can help Tennessee residents expel roof rats and other rodents from their homes. Our experienced staff uses sealants, repellents and traps to deliver a comprehensive solution. To request a free estimate, please contact Proven Pest Management today.